Return to Transcripts main page

CNN TONIGHT

First Ever Tweet About Obama's Respect, Goes Viral; Hopes Dim For DACA Deal With Government Shutdown Looming; Pastor Calls Out President Trump Vulgar Comments With Vice President Pence In The Congregation. Aired 11-Midnight ET

Aired January 15, 2018 - 23:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GARY LEE, TWEET ABOUT OBAMA RESPECT WENT VIRAL: and somebody texted him Saturday night and said, hey, is this your son on twitter? And he was so, so, so proud to get into -- to share that experience with everybody. That is been really special.

DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: By the way, your tweet was your first tweet, more popular than the President's tweet, which was very interesting. I'm sure you know, you should be very proud of that. But I have to ask you, though, as a child of immigrants who worked in the White House, what do you say to people who, over the past, you know, not just past couple of days, but especially over the -- with the doors course that is been happening, who demonize immigrants, certain immigrants in certain ways, what do you say to folks? What do you say to the President?

LEE: Well, I can only speak to my experience. And I know that the twitter thread has sort of brought all these different people together. And I've heard from friends of friends that have heard from their friends of friends or their families, did you see this person's tweet? And then they shared their immigration stories about how much their family sacrificed, or there was one about this man who read my tweets to his grandfather who escaped from Nazi Germany when he was 8. And there was another about a father who read it to his daughters. And he said, I'm so proud about this moment, to be able to explain this moment to my daughters. I think that that is why it was so successful. I think that is why it resonated with people.

LEMON: Can I ask you something? So if someone asks you, who is Gary Lee? What do you say to them? How do you answer that question?

LEE: I am. I think he is this chubby, '90s, R&B and hip-hop-loving guy from Albuquerque, New Mexico, that is just like everybody else. And I think that no matter where you grew up -- I think that that is really what this all speaks to, Don, is that we -- I think that there is more partisanship, and we are more divided than we've ever been. And the reason for that is there is a lack of empathy. And what President Obama used to say is there's more that unites us than divides us. And I think no matter where you grew up, you listen to Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston and you watched "full house" and "fresh prince." and you care for your parents and you care for your kids. And I think that we have forgotten that. I think that what we need more than ever is the same thing that President Obama brought in 2008. I think that is what we need the most. I think that is hope.

LEMON: Gary Lee, thank you. Regards to your family.

LEE: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: This is "CNN tonight." I'm Don Lemon. A little past 11:00 on the east coast, and we are live with new developments tonight. A government shutdown looming, just four days away, as hopes dim for a compromise deal on DACA. But where does all this leave more than 700,000 DREAMERS who were brought to this country as children? More on that in a moment.

Plus, the Maryland pastor who from the pulpit called out President Trump's vulgar comments about immigrants, and he did it with Vice President Pence in the congregation. I'll talk to that pastor tonight. You don't want to miss that.

Let us get right now to the latest on what could be a government shutdown and what it could mean for a DACA deal. I want to bring in Republican strategist Ron Nehring, former national spokesperson for Ted Cruz, thanks for joining us. CNN senior political analyst Jennifer Granholm, Democratic former governor of Michigan, thank you for joining us as well. Jennifer, Governor Granholm, just a week ago, the President seemed eager to get a deal, even to compromise on immigration. Watch this and then we'll discuss.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If we do the right bill here, we are not very far away. We've done most of it. You want to know the truth, if we do this properly, DACA, you are not so far away from comprehensive immigration reform. And if you want to take it that further step, I'll take the heat, I don't care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Then this afternoon the prospect of compromise seems to have dimmed with the President saying, Senator Dickie Durbin totally misrepresented what was said at the DACA meeting, deals can't get made when there's no trust, Durbin blew DACA and is hurting our military. Who do you see as responsible for blowing the deal and why governor?

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, if the deal is blown, and I think it's not a done deal yet, if the deal is blown in some way, it will mean that there is a government shutdown, potentially. Unless Paul Ryan, unless they can get the votes on the Republican side. And who will get the blame for that? It's the Republicans.

[23:05:15] I presided when I was governor over a couple of shutdowns. Believe me, it is the executive that gets the blame for that, no matter how much time he tries to deflect, everybody is not stupid. We know who controls. Can I just say something? You had that beautiful guest on just a minute ago, Mr. Lee. And it just -- I'm an immigrant myself. When you raise your right hand and take the oath, it is such an unbelievably powerful experience that so many people who have been here for decades just want to be able to do that. When I woke up this morning, on the front page of my local paper, "The free press" was the story of a 39-year-old man who this morning, on Martin Luther King day, who has been here for 30 years, was at the airport being ripped from his family after he had never been convicted, not even a ticket, had paid his taxes, was a landscaper in Lincoln park. There he was with his wife wailing, being ripped from his family. Really, really, is that what makes America great? Is that what we are so afraid of, is somebody who has been a law-abiding citizen who just wants to be with his 12-year-old son and his 15-year-old daughter? Jorge Garcia is an example of one of the 700,000 or 800,000 people who will be affected by this if there is not a deal. 15,000 people have lost their status --

LEMON: I think that is the urgency of why they need to get something done, governor. I'm glad you told that story. I need to bring Ron in. The President is blaming Democrats and the shutdown, says they refuse to negotiate on military budget, refusing to budge from the so- called DREAMERS, a quote from him, the hundreds of thousands of people that the governor mentioned there under the Obama administration. Do you see any way past this impasse?

RON NEHRING, FORMER CHAIRMAN, CASH REPUBLICAN PARTY: Sure. Certainly the events of the past couple of days make a deal more complicated and less likely.

LEMON: So you think it's over?

NEHRING: No I don't think it is over. It's not over. Number one the government has to be funded until going to be funded. There may be a shutdown, I don't think there should be, I don't think there will be already ultimately on DACA issue, you have a Republican President, President Trump, who ran on the most harsh anti-immigration language of any President we've had in modern times, who has said he is willing to sign a deal to legalize the status of DACA recipients provided he is able to get funding for securing the border and a like. The Democrats should take that deal. They certainly should take that deal, because number one, they will achieve the policy goal which they say they want, number two, the Democrats claim they're for a secure border, then let's do that, properly fund a secure border, a wall where necessary, other enhancement elsewhere, let us go and get that done. I think that is where the President is coming from and the Democrats should take that deal.

LEMON: Do you see that, governor?

GRANHOLM: I totally see that, but this shouldn't and two-step. First of all, you've got all of these people who are losing status every single day. So there's an urgency about the first part which is the DACA deal. And the only bill that is available right now is this funding bill. So you've got 83 percent of Americans who want to see DACA resolved. 68 percent or something like that of Republicans who want to see it resolved. So there you go, you've got Democrats who want to see that happen, a lot of Republicans, you've got Republicans who want the funding bill, and a lot of Democrats. Why can't those two happen first, then once the crisis is over, then you do a comprehensive bill which can include a lot of the things that you describe? I don't know why we have to shove all of this, 20 pounds of poop, into a five-pound bag. We can do it step by step.

LEMON: So listen, Ron. I thought this was very important. I saw this. This is the head of the national Hispanic Christian leadership conference issued a statement saying how, how about move forward on immigration? He said this, every single person is created in the image of god, without exception, therefore as it pertains to immigration, we must provide a legal avenue with no rigorous vetting that enables individuals -- with rigorous vetting I should say, that enables individuals from both Norway and Nigeria, from Holland and Haiti, to come to our nation if they embrace our values, commit to self-reliance, to enriching our collective American experience." is that a sign of just how damaging these comments, these s-hole or s- house comments, have done?

NEHRING: No, I think the larger issue here is that, at least from the Republican side, is that there's no compassion in allowing to have an insecure border, to continue to perpetuate. We do not have a safe, secure, modern border. I live in San Diego County, in the county I live in southern California, we've had an explosion of homelessness in that county and in California. Because of these meth labs, these super labs in Mexico that are bringing drugs. The very same networks that bring illegal immigrants into the country are used to bring drugs into the country and money and guns back into Mexico.

[23:10:09] LEMON: You think a wall will fix that?

NEHRING: The wall in the sector is necessary. Certainly California, Arizona sectors, that is important thing to accomplish. Not far from where I live there are open section in the border hundreds of feet long if not thousands of feet long. Those should be closed. People would be shocked as to the current state of the border in that area. A wall is necessary in those sectors and other sectors, then technology and other barriers --

LEMON: We're speaking about a wall in Mexico but we're not talking about the comments the President made, that is different, he was not talking about Mexico I assume but he is already said how he felt about Mexicans.

NEHRING: Certainly the comments that have been reported makes a deal more difficult on both sides. What Senator Durbin has said and the like what Mike Shields said is correct, by exacerbating this, you make a deal less likely, rather than putting that aside, putting policy first, getting the deal done.

LEMON: I have to go, Governor, we'll continue the conversation. Thank you both.

When we come back Dr. King's son, Martin Luther King Jr. III, compared President Trump to George Wallace today. And he said the President's heart can be changed. Is he right?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: In the wake of the firestorm over his vulgar comments about

African countries President Trump continues to insist he is not a racist. Here to discuss CNN presidential historian Timothy Naftali, Tim Wise, the author of "White like me." CNN political commentator Marc Lamont Hill. So good to have you all of you on. Tim Wise, the President is once again having to come out and say that he is not a racist. Take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[23:15:13] TRUMP: I'm not a racist. I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. That I can tell you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So people who aren't racist don't typically have to respond to questions about whether they're a racist, right.

TIM WISE, AUTHOR, WHITE LIKE ME: This is sort of like the person who just got their seventh DUI telling you that they're not an alcoholic. I mean, there comes a point -- when someone shows you who they are, believe them. If they show you 25 times and you still don't believe that there's a problem, then the problem is actually with you, not them. Yeah, most of the time people don't have to be constantly on the defensive claiming they're not racist. It's the kind of person who says, I'm not a racist, because I have black friends. I dated an Asian woman once. I have a dream catcher in my rear-view mirror. My great grandmother was a Cherokee princess. At some point the denials become evidence of the thing. And I think that is what we need to be looking at. There is a pattern of behavior. There are people who are not racist at their core who occasionally do racist stuff, just like there are guys who do sexist things who are not misogynist at their core. But Donald Trump has gone well beyond that, both on the issue of misogyny and on the issue of racism and white supremacy, and he shows himself every few days.

LEMON: Timothy Naftali, the former Alabama governor and presidential candidate George Wallace who famously stood on the steps of the capitol and said, segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever. He was asked similar questions like this on "meet the press," 1968, watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you seeking support of racists?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, of course I don't know what your definition of a racist is. But I'm certainly not a racist.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well. That could have been during the campaign when he said, no David Duke, it's similar.

TIMOTHY NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: There's a coda to that story, which is what happens a decade later when he admits, George Wallace admits that he was a racist. Acknowledges the bigotry that motivated him in the '60s. And seeks forgiveness. In fact, when he died in the late '90s, John Lewis of all people explained in "The New York Times" why he forgave George Wallace, because he believed George Wallace sought redemption. So the Wallace story is a fabulous example of someone, a racist, who said he wasn't a racist, who later acknowledged he was a racist and then sought forgiveness.

LEMON: Marc, I want to add -- well, go on. What do you think of this? Then I'll ask you a question.

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first, Donald Trump's a racist, let me just get that out there, I think we can all understand and agree with that. To Tim's point, at some point the evidence becomes overwhelming and the only question is why people won't accept it. From his housing practices as a land lord, to things he said on the campaign trail, to his references to Haiti and Africa. Donald Trump is unequivocally, indisputably racist. The only question is why we need him to confirm it. I think one difference between him and George Wallace, among other things, Donald Trump as narcissist. There will never be a moment where he'll ask for forgiveness or acknowledge he ever was wrong on anything, much less the race question. The taken isn't so much in whether or not he'll respond, the danger is how this plays out in public policy, and how this affects the vulnerable.

LEMON: One more George Wallace, listen to Martin Luther King III, he compared George Wallace to President Trump. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTIN LUTHER KING III, SON OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: We got to find a way to work on this man's heart. You see, think about it. George Wallace was a staunch racist. And we worked on his heart. And ultimately, George Wallace transformed. So don't tell me we can't transform. We've done it too many times. We're not working hard enough.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So -- you say no, Marc. Marc just said no because he is a narcissist. So Marc, I know what you think. Tim Wise, what do you think? Go, Marc, all right.

LAMONT HILL: Real quick. It's not just that. I don't care about Donald Trump -- I apologize, sir. There's a time delay. I said, I don't care about Donald Trump's heart. It's not -- why is it black people's work or anybody's work to convert Donald Trump to not being a racist? It's not our labor that is a labor expenditure we don't need. We should be trying to get food, clothing, and shelter. I don't care it was Donald Trump's heart, he don't mean that much to me. My concern, my fundamental occupation is justice. So the question how do we create public policy that isn't informed by Donald Trump's racism, or the racism of the senate or the many U.S. Presidents that have called places s-holes and used the "n" word in private quarters.

LEMON: I'm not asking -- I have to stop asking whether he is a racist. I had the conversation with the nephew because he said he used a strange term about --

WISE: Right.

LEMON: Sort of made -- yeah. Racially ignorant. Made excuses for it. Go on, Tim Wise.

[23:20:06] WISE: It's not the job of black and brown folks for sure or anyone concerned about justice to save Donald Trump's soul or his heart. If he wants to start working on that, he could resign tomorrow and get to work on it. We can get him all the best therapy in the world. He is a billionaire, I'm sure he can pay for it himself. If not, I'll chip in. We have to get busy. We have to get busy about the nation's business. This is not about saving one man, just like it wasn't about saving George Wallace. I think the issue here, this is a guy who says he is smarter than the smartest CPA, he knows health care better than everyone, and the idea that somehow he is going to have and let us also remember George Wallace had to get shot before he had a turnaround. I'm not advocating that, please do not send the secret service to my house. What I'm saying is it took a dramatic attack on George Wallace for him to begin to even have that change of heart. So I don't think that these things are remotely analogous. Donald Trump's heart, Donald Trump's soul, is Donald Trump's problem. It doesn't need to be our problem as a nation, yet he has made it so.

LEMON: Timothy, we're talking about George Wallace, let's talk about Nixon. You're an expert on all things President Nixon. The comparisons, there are so many. Because everyone remembers these famous words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I welcome this kind of examination. Because people have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook. I've earned everything I've got.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So when you have to affirmatively say -- deny what everyone is asking you and is so obvious that you are, what does that usually mean?

NAFTALI: With Richard Nixon are, his tell was whenever he affirmed something in the negative, you knew he had done it. So I'm not a crook, you knew he was a crook. I wasn't involved in the cover-up, he was involved in the cover-up. I want to mention a point that Marc raised about the effective racism, racist thinking, on policy. Richard Nixon was a racist. He was a scientific racist. He associated race with intelligence. Horrible science. He allowed that to shape some of his thinking about welfare policy. Racism, the racism of a President, matters on one level, because we care about the character of our President. But on the highest level, it matters when it shapes policy. If Donald Trump's racism shapes our immigration policy, that is a disaster for this country. And that is for me what made the s-hole comment, what mattered to me about that was he said, we don't want people from there. That is the racist comment. And that informs immigration reform, then we are not the same country anymore.

LEMON: Thank you all, I appreciate it.

When we come back. The pastor at a suburban Washington, D.C. Church criticized President Trump's vulgar comments about immigration with Vice President Mike Pence sitting in the pew. I'm going to talk to that pastor live next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:27:25] LEMON: A senior pastor in Maryland using his sermon yesterday to criticize President Trump's shithole comments as Vice President Mike Pence was sitting right in front of him in the congregation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have to address it, one because I feel led by god to do it. And two because it is right to do it. And three because there are members of this church who are from Africa. Who are from Haiti, they call me pastor. Whoever made such a statement, and whoever used such a visceral, disrespectful, dehumanizing adjective to characterize the nations of Africa, whoever, do you hear me church, whoever said it, is wrong. And they ought to be held accountable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Joining me now is Dr. Maurice Watson of the Metropolitan Baptist Church. Pastor, thank you so much for joining us this evening, we appreciate it.

MAURICE WATSON, SENIOR PASTOR, METROPOLITAN BAPTIST CHURCH: Thanks for having me, it's a pleasure to be here.

LEMON: The Vice President sitting right there, and his wife why did you do it?

WATSON: Don, it didn't have anything to do with the Vice President, it had to do with the fact that I'm a pastor. As a pastor, I have to speak up for my people. And the Vice President just happened to have been there. I can also say that I wasn't trying to have a gotcha moment with the Vice President. I was just trying to be a good pastor. When I heard these kinds of visceral adjectives and what have you that were used to describe nations in Africa and other statements about Haiti, I felt that, in good conscience, as a pastor, that I needed to speak up on behalf of the people.

LEMON: So, them being there did not influence you one bit, you would say it either way?

WATSON: Absolutely. I was going to make that statement whether the Vice President was there or not. What caused me to make that statement is as the news cycle of the last week went on and those statements began to become a part of front and center of the news cycle, I said to myself, I have to address this. I would have been derelict in my duty if I had not spoken out on behalf of the people. LEMON: Could you see him? He was sitting right in front of you,

right?

WATSON: Yes, he was right in front of me, but it really wasn't about him. We welcome the Vice President to our worship service. We were not trying to embarrass him. But at the same time, I wasn't running away from a moral issue and as a Pastor I have to speak up and be a moral voice.

DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: I was about to ask you that then we move on because the reports are, Vice president was red face and he seem upset or what have you. You never even looked at him you said.

WATSON: No, I did not.

LEMON: So what's going on, pastor? What's happening?

WATSON: I just think that the rhetoric is over the top. And, you know, some things, Don, are just out of bounds. When you start using adjectives to denigrate groups of people that is just out of bounds. Especially for someone who holds the highest office in the land. That is beneath the dignity of that office.

LEMON: Some things are so reprehensible that you have to just call it what it is. And I think that many people are having -- are feeling that same way now, pastor.

WATSON: Absolutely. And I believe that there are pastors all over this country every week that are speaking out. I just happen to have spoken out at a time when some very important people were at church. But it really wasn't about them. It was about my caring for my congregation. And I wanted them to know that I would stand shoulder to shoulder with them.

LEMON: So those members who are you say from Africa and Haiti and some of those countries the President made that comment about, what do they say to you in the wake of the President's ugly words?

WATSON: I have heard overwhelming support. And they have thanked me and let me know how much they appreciated me for giving them a voice. So that is really all it was about.

LEMON: Should the President apologize for his remarks and would that be enough to convince people of color that he is not a racist?

WATSON: As I said in my statement on Sunday, whoever said it, absolutely owes those nations an apology. They may or may not get that apology. But certainly I believe that he owes them that apology.

LEMON: So when these things happen, and sometimes they happen publicly, this happened behind closed doors, the President denies them, doubles down, his administration makes excuses for it, his representatives, so on and so forth. Can you help people understand what this is doing to the American people, and especially to members of your congregation? WATSON: It is dividing the nation. It is tearing this nation apart.

And a President of the United States should be a uniter, should be someone who pulls this country together. But that kind of rhetoric is not helpful. It is absolutely adding fuel to the fire.

LEMON: Express as a pastor how this makes people of color feel.

WATSON: It makes people of color feel dehumanized. It makes people of color feel that they are not -- that they don't matter. It is conspicuously interesting that many of the leadership of the GOP are conspicuously quiet and silent. And their silence is complicit. And I think they need to speak up. Somebody needs to be the moral voice of that Party and speak up. And say, enough is enough.

LEMON: Pastor Watson, thank you for your time.

WATSON: Thank you for having me.

LEMON: We will be right back.

[23:38:10] LEMON: A top aide to President Trump and his former chief strategist expected to testify in the Russia investigation this week. Our senior congressional correspondent is Manu Raju and he joins me now. A busy week for the House Intel Committee. Steve Bannon is scheduled to meet with them tomorrow. Other members of the Trump campaign expected throughout the week. What more can you tell us?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: That is right, Steve Bannon of course joined the Trump campaign after the Trump tower meeting in which Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, met with the Russians in June 2016 after Donald Trump Jr. was promised dirt on the Clinton campaign. But as we now know, Steve Bannon had a lot of thoughts about that meeting. In Michael Wolff's book he is quoted as saying that meeting was treasonous, unpatriotic, even questioned the assertion of Donald Trump Jr. and others who said that then-candidate Trump had no knowledge of that meeting. Said there was a zero percent chance that Donald Trump had no insight into exactly what happened. Well, the members of the committee are going to ask, how come you've made such a bold assertion in this book? Do you know about any of these contacts that occurred? Did you know about that meeting after the fact? What else did you know during the transition period, especially at the time Michael Flynn was having contacts with the Russian ambassador, Sergei Kislyak? Expect all those questions to come up and expect also Corey Lewandowsky, the day when he meets with the House Intelligence Committee, to be asked about contacts that he had with George Papadopoulos, foreign policy adviser on the Trump campaign who had contacts with Russia and he lied about those contacts, Papadopoulos lied to the FBI, now pleaded guilty to that. Lewandowski is going to be asked about those Papadopoulos questions as well. Hope Hicks, Senior White House aide, the communications Director, coming in, expected later this week. That could be the big event of the week before the House Intelligence Committee.

[23:4007] LEMON: yes. We've been expecting that to happen for a while. So many players here that you were talking about, oh my goodness. You got the communications Director, you have advisers, campaign people, folks who didn't make to it the White House. I mean it is so much every day. Listen, I understand Paul Manafort, who ran the Trump campaign at one point, also Rick Gates, are headed to court tomorrow morning. What do we know about that, Manu?

RAJU: Yes, that is right. In fact, this is going to be interesting. Because we're going to learn a lot about the special counsel's direction and the way he is thinking about pursuing this case when it goes to trial. We know that Robert Mueller wants to begin the trial on May 14th. We'll see if the Judge tomorrow says -- gives any indication whether or not they want to start the trial that day. But as part of the discovery process, Bob Mueller's team has turned over hundreds of thousands of pages of documents and evidence to the defense, and they said about 2,200 pages of those documents are relevant. It will be interesting to hear about that process. What exactly they may focus on as they go forward in this case. We'll also hear things about bail terms and the like for Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, but an indication of sorts about where this case is headed and how the defense plans to push back against what Bob Mueller is bringing forward, all these charges that they've brought forward late last year.

LEMON: Manu Raju, thank you.

RAJU: Thank you Don.

LEMON: Now I want to bring in CNN legal analyst Michael Zeldin, Robert Mueller's former special assistant at the Justice Department. Michael thank you for coming in on this holiday, I appreciate it. STODDARD: we just heard from Manu, Steve Bannon is set to meet with the House Intel Committee tomorrow. What kind of questions will he face?

MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think in addition to what Manu talked about, which was with respect to the treasonous meeting on June 9th, the other things that are of interest to me and would be I think of interest to the committee is, one, the Cambridge Analytica, that was the data analytic firm that dealt with WikiLeaks and was part of the Jared Kushner effort to target districts that were vulnerable to the Trump message. Some think that was helped by Russians. I think that is one aspect that will be covered. Then Bannon said that the heart of this case, the heart of Trump's culpability if you will, is money laundering. And I think that they're going to want to know what does he mean by that? Remember, there is this financial crimes goes component to what Mueller is investigating. The President said he thinks that should be off limits. Mueller has shown no indication of heeding that. Because Bannon said that is the heart of the matter, all roads run through that. I think that will take a lot of time with the committee with respect to Bannon.

LEMON: Let me ask you about some Bannon quotes. He was quoted making incendiary comments in Michael Wolff's book "fire and fury," including calling Donald Trump Jr. treasonous. Are comments like that fair game for investigators?

ZELDIN: I think they're going to want to understand what facts underlie his opinion. LEMON: The context, right?

ZELDIN: Right. He can have an opinion that Don Jr. is a bright bulb, a dim bulb, a treasonous fellow, a non-treasonous fellow. The question is, why? What's the basis upon which you conclude that? With respect to the June 9th meeting and treason, he said, well, he meant to say it about Manafort. That is irrelevant, really, in some sense. Because he is calling that meeting treasonous. And he is saying there's no way in the world those Russians, who came to the Trump tower on June 9th, didn't meet with Donald the candidate. They're going to want to explore that. That is going to be explored with Hope Hicks when she testifies. They're going to want to know, what did the President know about that meeting? Because he and she and Don Jr. crafted a response when that meeting was revealed which was not truthful. So there's a lot of stuff going on around that treason, treasonous June 9th meeting, to use Bannon's words.

LEMON: Bannon, he is been in disgrace ever since "fire and fury" came out, lost the backing of the influential Mercer family, rich family, no longer running Breitbart. Could this testimony be a way for Bannon to get revenge on Trump?

ZELDIN: Well, it's a good question. But I don't know that I know the answer to it. Which is, in some since, he was endeavoring it seems to get his revenge on Trump by inviting Wolff into the White House, then making all of those quotes. Now he seems to be trying to curry favor again. So what he will say and what motivates him to say it remains to be seen. The sad part about the congressional hearings is these witnesses are not coming in under subpoena. So they can refuse to answer questions, they can say, well, my conversation with the President on that is privileged, in the same way that Don Jr. said it and Sessions said it in his congressional testimony. And there's no opportunity to hold these people in contempt. That is very different than when they appear before Mueller. We know Hope Hicks has testified before Mueller twice --

[23:45:12] LEMON: Let me ask you about Hope, quickly. She is been with the Trump family, has worked for him with the campaign, I think even before, as a gate keeper. What will investigators hope to learn from her?

ZELDIN: I think the most important thing is this meeting on the air force one where they concocted this story about what the June 9th meeting was about. The Trump tower meeting. Which proved to be a lie. I think they're going to want to know from her about communications between all people and Trump. Because he has said, I didn't know anything about WikiLeaks, about the June 9th meeting, about collusion. But she is the gate keeper on communications. So she might be able to say, well, you know what, with respect to that, he did receive a call from Flynn, he did receive a call from Kushner, and he did get an e-mail from so-and-so. I think it's that flow of communication from his outer circle into him and back that she has the most relevant testimony on.

LEMON: Michael Zeldin, always appreciate you, thank you sir.

ZELDIN: Thank you.

LEMON: When we come back the house of horrors in California. A family's 13 children held captive in their own home in filthy conditions. Some shackled to beds with chains and padlocks. The shocking story and the story of their escape next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:51:00] LEMON: A shocking discovery about two hours south east of Los Angeles. Police say one family 13 children were held captive inside a home in filthy conditions, some shackled to beds. I want to bring in now CNN Correspondent Stephanie Elam. Stephanie this is just a terrible, horrific story. You're in Paris, California. What do you know? What can you tell us?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is a very shocking story, Don. There's still a lot of questions. What I can tell you here in this house where what we understand a 17-year-old was able to escape and according to police with a cellular device and called 911 were she told authorities she and her 12 brothers and sisters were being held captive by their parents. When police responded to the home, they found the 12 siblings inside the home, ages 2 through 29. They said the children were so malnourished that the 17-year-old, for example, they thought she was about 10 years old. When he know all the children including the seven adults of the children have been taken to medical centers for treatment. And as far as the couple, the parents here, David and Louise, they have been arrested and are being held on bail of $9 million each in this case, Don.

LEMON: I have to ask you, are we hearing from any of the people who interacted with this family? Were there any clues that something wasn't right here?

ELAM: Right. We've heard from the lawyer, because the couple did file for bankruptcy in 2011. Their lawyer saying they were, quote, nice people and spoke lovingly of their children. CNN was also able to talk to the mother of David. She says they're being misrepresented and they were a respectable family and they were protective of the kids, so much so they dressed all the children alike. And when they went on vacations, they would line up in age order with mom in front and dad in back.

LEMON: Stephanie Elam, in California. Thank you Stephanie. I appreciate it.

I want to bring in now CNN law enforcement analyst Art Roderick. Art listen, I want to talked about this shocking story, how can something like this happen without neighbors or anyone else knowing?

ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALSYT: Well, that is the big question I have. What do the neighbors know? This is a horrible and bizarre case. You have ages 2 to 29. I mean, I think they have to go all the way back to when the 29-year-old was born and figure out what was going on with this family. They also have the house that residential home in that residential area, classified as sort of a private school educating ages 1 through 12. So the whole setup is very bizarre. You would think at some point that some government official would have come out and checked that particular private school to make sure the registration was correct.

LEMON: And the video you're looking at, I think they're renewing their vows in 2013 in Los Angeles. The suspects are David Allen Terpin and Louise Anna Terpin. They were charged with torture and child endangerment. What causes someone -- why do people do this?

RODERICK: This is -- we can't even imagine this. I mean, normal people can't imagine the mind set of individuals like this. When I first heard about this case, the first thing I thought of was human trafficking. Human sex trafficking. That does not appear to be the case here. Of course, there's a lot of questions as Stephanie had mentioned. When you're keeping adults chained to a bed, what is that situation? What's going on there? And how come at this particular point in time the 17-year-old was actually able to escape. There's a lot of questions here to be answered, and this case will be looked at and studied from purely a psychological basis.

LEMON: How do they approach this? Stephanie mentioned a bankruptcy. What will investigators be looking for first in the case?

[23:55:05] RODERICK: They'll be looking for all of this, but they'll also be looking at what are the children's physical and psychological conditions. So they'll be put in all these kids through psychological testing. I mean you have an infant here, 2 year old. They all appear to be malnourished. The couples are in custody, they are not going to get out, and I doubt they can make the $9 million bond a piece. So law enforcement has plenty of time here to go back and check all this boxes and go back 29 years and look at how this thing advanced to the point that it is right now.

LEMON: Art, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

RODERICK: Thank you Don.

LEMON: That is it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. I'll see you back here tomorrow.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)